Chapter 11:



Sypherd in September 2006Sypherd, Brown, Harter, Sharp. UD dorms can’t get more classic, in terms of exterior design. Except for all the dorms on South Central, but anyway. They’re all on the same level.


Upperclass Honors housing was in North Central in the early '90s (and still is), which my roommate AB and I went for…most of our Dickinson friends did as well. I don’t remember putting a lot of thought into it, it was just like, “Okay, so that’s where we’re all living next year.” In Spring '92, we all got our room assignments, and hiked over to Sypherd and Brown to check out our new digs. Our chick friends (one of them is now AB’s wife) landed a huge room in Brown...that was relative of course, to what we were used to in Dickinson. AB and I scored a nice big room in the fourth floor Sypherd “penthouse,” with the sloped ceiling and all of that, overlooking the Mall. Awesome. We couldn’t be happier with that assignment, what a great room that we lived in for two years: 404 Sypherd.


Now, if any of you lived in that same room, 404...don't be so sure. Depends when you lived there. The room numbering convention changed, post renovation. As did the dimensions of some of the rooms. I do believe though that Sypherd’s fourth floor still has that "hidden” staircase, that connects to the third floor -- um, “Staircase Walk of Shame,” anybody? That's all I'm sayin' about it.


In doing research for this site, I was amazed to dig this up: there was a short-lived proposal in the late '80s, to convert all of the North Central dorms to academic buildings! The proposal was of course protested -- students fought for the preservation of the historic housing -- and the plan never came to fruition.


What did end up happening (once the cash started to flow into UD) was this: Harter -- built in 1917 -- underwent huge interior renovations in 1992. New windows, heating, walls, the whole deal…and while they were at it, Harter became the first traditional dorm with cable. I had a couple of friends who lived in there that first post-renovation year, and it was like Shangri-La. Then in 1997, UD began its five year mission of renovating all of the remaining dorms on both North AND South Central. So, by 2002, Sypherd, Brown, and Sharp had all been cleaned-up. They’ve probably all undergone further renovations or simple maintenance since.


A big change (well, in my opinion) in 2001: the installation of the roller-hockey rink, sand volleyball court, and basketball court behind Sypherd and Brown. This might be difficult to envision if you started UD post 2001, but that all used to be grass! Well, except there was a basketball court there, but it had been adjacent (and parallel) to Main Street…that court also hosted many heated b-ball battles between the residents of Sypherd and Brown. Anyway, I’m all for pick-up sports, but I prefer the original grass to the courts. Not only did it attract bikinis in the warm weather, but we also could play some (grass) volleyball there.


Well, I really liked North Central, definitely has its charm, and what a great location. And just like my freshman year in Dickinson, made a lot of my closest friends during my sophomore year in Sypherd. When I was there, it was actually a bizarre mix of Honors kids…and transfer students. Sypherd was absolutely nuts '92 - '93. Ridiculous mix of personalities, it was like the cast of Ocean's 11 meets the cast of Star Trek meets the cast of The Shawshank Redemption. And that was just the first floor. A lot of shenanigans went on, some of which I can’t even put on this site. I’ll share a few, though…



No Cause For Alarm


Yep, the age-old false alarm...clearing out of the dorm, during no actual fire. Not that I really condone it, but '92 - '93 Sypherd saw a succession of creative alarm yanks, with I believe zero-point-zero busts of the culprits. Which you have to respect.


Now I swear I wasn't in on the alarm pullings -- and it was actually a mystery to me who was doing it -- but years later, I sort of got the story: some first floor guys whom I knew pretty well were in on a giant conspiracy, taking turns pulling the alarm. One guy one week, another guy the next. So, you know the movie Scream? Sort of like how in that movie you couldn't figure out the guy in the mask, because there was actually two of 'em working together -- at any given time, one or the other had the alibi of being somewhere else. The alarm pulling was that scenario, but with five or six guys at least! Genius.


Puking in the Penthouse


The most I ralphed by far in my life, was at UD when I got hit with some food poisoning. I thought it was from a bad hamburger I ate (yes, that I bought on campus)...but AB thinks it was some chocolate milk I left one too many days in our dorm room fridge.


Well, whatever it was, it was fucking brutal. I was in the middle of a Men’s Club Volleyball match when it hit. Felt it bubbling up, and I subbed out of the game. Bolted to the Men's room (this was in Carpenter Gym), and that was the start of my two-day chunderfest.


Made it back to Sypherd...and that fourth floor bathroom didn't know what hit it. I couldn't keep water down...and I didn't even go to the infirmary. Not because I'm some tough guy, rather, because I could barely stand without barfing. That was 1993 and believe it or not, didn't puke again for another ten years…the streak was broken by food poisoning AGAIN in '03!


O.J. is Innocent


Either Fall '92 or Spring '93, can't remember exactly when, but it was definitely my sophomore year in Sypherd. One night my buddies on the first floor had people in their room -- some drinking, no big deal. Most of us weren’t 21. The guys were mostly drinking beer, but I dumped some Peach Schnapps into a cup of orange juice -- kind of a pussy drink, I'll concede.


Take a seat, you're about to be shocked: Public Safety showed up, as we were being too loud. Okay, fine, my friend did have some very big stereo speakers, not to mention like 600 CDs. The campus fuzz took us out in the hallway, one-by-one. They asked me if I'd been drinking. My answer: "Yeah, orange juice." Them: "Any vodka in that orange juice?" Me: "No, there was no vodka in that orange juice."


And there wasn't. They didn't smell anything on my breath, so they let me go, sent me back up to my room on the fourth. And actually, don't even know if anyone got busted that night. I wish I had a better “close call” tale, like that I escaped from a Towers party via Harrier Jet or something…but that be it.



Boobs, Butts & Beyond: Slapstick


“My sophomore year was horrible. I lived in Brown Hall, and had this roommate who was in the band, and I would wake up to this slapping noise...NO, he did not have a girlfriend. It was him doing it solo. I think he played the flute.”


- Neil, attended UD but didn't survive the party!


It’s all about Location


“I lived in Brown for my sophomore and junior air conditioning equals open windows on hot nights, and North Mall equals practically close enough to get puked on by the drunk kids coming back from the Balloon, Grotto's, wherever. Good times!”


- MC, UD '06


It’s all about Atmosphere


“I got really, really drunk at my friend’s dorm room, off of rum and vodka double shots. He lived in Sharp. As I was hugging the toilet that night, I couldn't help but notice how very clean and nice the bathrooms were. Between trips to worshipping the porcelain gods, I chatted with the RA about how it must suck for him to deal with stupid drunk college kids. I'm sure he thought I was a riot.”


- Jeremy, UD '09


Boobs, Butts & Beyond: Flower Power


“In Sypherd Hall, my roommate and I had a ‘code.’ Well, she had a code, since she was the one with the boyfriend at the time. She'd draw a flower on the bottom left hand corner of our message board, with a time to return next to it. I came back late one night from the art studio, had about 20 minutes left on the ‘time,’ and ended up going back to the studio and passing out on the couch there for two hours, before dragging myself back to my room once again. Turns out when I came by the first time, they were done, she just forgot to erase the message. Nice. Then I got a single the next two years.”


- K, UD '05, Glory Days at Delaware, and DelGrads are © 2006 – 2015 the guy who made this site. Website designed by Digger Designs.